A Xinhua report today brings some good news from China’s e-commerce space, where reportedly many physically disabled people are finding more ways to work and make a living.
Citing sources at China’s Taobao e-commerce platform, more than 30,000 disabled people are managing online stores on Taobao.com. The service initiated a job program last year for call center jobs that disabled people could do from home.
E-commerce in China was huge in 2011, with over 750 billion RMB (or about $118 billion) spent in total. That figure is likely to be significantly larger this year. But given online market places are far more accessible than many real world ones, it makes sense that many people with physical disabilities would make the most of such an opportunity — especially when discrimination can still be a problem for many hoping to enter the workforce in China. Xinhua quotes paralympian Yang Bozun on this point:
We have to admit that there is still discrimination against the disabled in getting a proper job. Sometimes we are being looked at differently. […] The Internet, somehow, provides an easy solution.
Assuming the report is accurate, this is certainly an encouraging trend to see. With e-commerce currently experiencing a wave of popularity as more people in China come online, we hope that the benefits can float everyone’s boat, including those with physical disabilities.